Fire Inside: Kristen Ashley

Fire Inside (Chaos#2)
Kristen Ashley
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Lanie Heron isn’t looking for love—no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club...

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She’s too polished and too classy for his tastes. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can’t say no. And he doesn’t regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that’s ever happened to him—in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

Suggested reading before Fire Inside since the characters have been introduced in these previous books...although this can be read as a stand alone:
Chaos book one: Own The Wind: Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/Our reviews

The Dream Man Series:
Mystery Man(book1) 
Wild Man (book 2)
Law Man (book 3)
Motorcycle Man (book 4)

There is nothing better than the anticipation and excitement of getting my hands on a new Kristen Ashley alpha male. Hopper was no exception.

I knew the moment I read this quote I was going to be addicted to Hop. I fell and I fell hard for our hero.

"I'll wear you down."
"No , you won't."

"You won't let me in, I'll break in, sneak in, blast in."

Hopper and Lanie are definitely not two people I would have expected to save each other, but they intrigued me as a couple. I was surprised that in the end, their relationship grew on me and I was more invested than I thought, seeing as neither rated on my likeable scale in previous books. Honestly, I found Hop and Lanie were a total mess. Their relationship consisted of constant fighting and lots of makeup sex. The word conversation was not in either characters dictionary. Half the time I sat there shaking my head, cussing them out. If they had just TALKED or heck even LISTENED to the other than most of their problems would have disappeared. One or the other was always either running or chasing, and it sometimes became too much, however, I could totally see why KA paired them up.  Hop and Lanie were actually perfect together, balancing the other out when they weren't judging, misunderstanding, and throwing temper tantrums. When it was good it was good, once they got past all their trust issues, just took a bit getting there.

"So you're good with threatenin' to take you away from me, you, somethin' you know I want and I want it bad, bad enough to work at it, bad enough to twist myself in fuckin' knots for it."

There was a certain allure to Hopper. On one hand, KA wrote about a sweet protective biker who melted my heart with his words and then we had the bad boy alpha who I want to take a frying pan upside the head to while telling him to put his big boy panties on and get over it. I think KA actually described him perfectly in the book, "tough guy with a soft heart."  When I met Hop in Motorcycle Man, I did not like him at all, thought he was a major slime bucket. I am excited to say he totally won my heart over in Fire Inside. Our hero sits right behind Tack and Ty in my line up of fave KA book boyfriends. I loved how she showed us a totally different side to him, allowing him to find redemption from his previous actions. Hop had his reasons and those will be explained. Although, even if they weren't I would have still fell hard for him. His actions spoke a 1000 words. Hopper was an amazing father, a loyal person, and he was he was willing to move heaven and earth to make his relationship with Lanie work. There was no way in hell he was letting his "lady" go. I was fascinated with Hopper and his struggle to show Lanie the patience and love she needed to move on, while also battling what comes as second nature to him.

"Ok, maybe she was messed up, fucked up, a drama queen, high maintenance and a nut."

Hop pretty much summed up Lanie. Not much more I can say other than she could be a little over bearing every so often. It was a struggle to get past those moments because in the back of my mind I totally got why she acted the way she did, but then on the other hand she had been around Chaos and Hop enough to know she was safe. There were times within the story that I would have actually love to see Lanie acting more like a nut, though. I didn't think there were enough instances that showed her feeling light hearted and enjoying herself. Most of the time she was a hard nut to crack as she pushed Hop away and made him fight every inch of the way to keep them. This kind of made it hard to connect with her character. Even though I wasn't her hugest fan in this book, I liked what she brought to the table when it came to Hopper. I found I liked the Lanie that allowed Hop to sneak in and help her heal. I liked who she was becoming as she realized that while love won't conquer all things it could mend a broken soul giving you the chance to experience life, love, and trust again. She needed to learn to live again and being her shield provided that protection for her. My time spent with Lanie was one of those love/hate relationships.

"Thank you, Hopper Kincaid. Suitcases. Sandwiches. Chinese. God’s country. Sweet kids. I didn’t go to sleep last night buried under emotional exhaustion. I went to sleep looking forward to seeing you. That’s a miracle, honey, and you have to know I appreciate you making that miracle happen for me."

The issues that other readers had with this story actually worked perfectly for me, those were the reasons I enjoyed Fire Inside so much. I liked that there wasn't the normal action packed drama KA inserts into her books, while I thrive on her alpha brand of writing I felt since Lanie had already been through so much in a previous book anything else would have been over the top. I felt their story was more about finding redemption, self-discovery, and second chances at love, it revolved more around the relationship aspect than the action. It was definitely one of Kristen's more quieter reads, which I think both Lanie and Hop needed. Our hero and heroine just needed to tell their story; they didn't need the added drama since they were already on an emotional roller coaster ride. Fire Inside had the perfect type of drama, for me, even if it did make you frustrated on several occasions.  

A few things here and there didn't work for me; such as parts felt like they were written fast lacking in development or description.  Maybe I just missed Kristen's added touch of more detailed descriptions as we have seen in her previous books. The one thing I really missed is her amazing epilogues. This one was really good but it wasn't as perfect as ones that have come before it. Her epilogues always leave me breathless, this one just left me smiling knowing they had found the peace they were looking for. 

I look forward to book 3 and seeing who will be next to stumble through the mysterious journey of finding love. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Hachette/Grand Central Publishing/Forever,  and Kristen Ashley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

"You know my story...You think I want another guy?...Ever?""I do not want that...What I want is...you...
For one night. Just one night."

This was about to get complicated.

I was not sure about it when I initially heard Hop and Lanie were going to be the 2nd Chaos book. I was not that attached to them in the previous books and seemed like an odd pairing at first.  But I have to admit, the more I got to know Hop, the more I loved Hop! Hop's mixture of alpha bad ass combined with sweet tenderness just made this book for me. He is  a typical Chaos man:  rough, totally unfiltered, pushy, and intrusive. But he is also so loving, protective, supportive, sweet and decisive. He knew what he wanted and was prepared to fight for it.

"Are you real?"
"Baby, you're standing in my arms.."
"Please be real..."
"Feel this...I'm real Lanie."

And boy did Lanie make him fight for it. She  drove me a little crazy at times. I know why she has trust issues and it was totally understandable. She was not only dealing the whole "kidnapping and nearly dying with her ex issue" but also deep rooted issues stemming from childhood and her parents relationship. So she is guarded, scared, indecisive, afraid to commit, quick to judge, and makes poor choices. When she would let herself be unguarded and let Hop in, they were so good. But she spent a lot of time pushing him away. 

If you had nothing, you couldn't feel more pain because you had nothing left to lose.

"Take a chance on me..."
"Christ, I'm beggin' you, let me in. Let me help. Let me in so I can untie that s**t you got wound up inside you."
"You won't let me in, I'll break in, sneak in, blast in..."

In the beginning Hop went above and beyond to make her feel wanted, cared for and secure. He knew what he wanted and was not afraid to challenge her to get it. They could be really good together at times and a complete train wreck at others. It was back and forth constantly with misunderstandings, trust issues, and pushing away. And Hop was not perfect either. He also has a temper, gets hurt easily, and reacts without thinking. They both react strongly and pass judgment quickly. They have a hard time staying on the same page at the same time. There were lots of fights, separations, and make up sex. Eventually she pushes and hurts Hop one too many times so that even he has doubts. 

"Got a monster to beat.."
'It lives in me, Hopper. I know it. It can't be beat."
"We'll see."

The bottom line is that Lanie  could not give herself to Hop until she gets her head straight, confronts, and deals with her past issues. But by the time she figures that out, will it be too late? Has their relationship been damaged enough that it is over before most people even know they are even together?

I have loved every Kristen Ashley book I have ever read. She is a genius with flawed characters and never fails to make me love them or at least like them. And I completely loved Hop. I swear every time he called her "lady", I just swooned. He stands up to many of the other KA males and he completely won my heart. And I really did come to like Lanie. But I will admit this was a quieter, less dramatic read than some of her others. This book was more about relationship drama and self discovery than it was about Chaos business, danger, and suspense. But there was some of it since the timeline coincides with OWN THE WIND and the same events that we went through in that book are covered in this book from a different perspective. But this one did not have the intense "I need the biker or commandos to come save me story" that most of her books have. But considering the fact that Lanie had been down that road already, I kind of appreciated that. So it was a different kind of KA book, but I still enjoyed it. And I cannot wait to see who the next Chaos book will be about. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Hachette/Grand Central Publishing/Forever,  and Kristen Ashley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Kristen Ashley Facebook/Website/Goodreads

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!). 

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.


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